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Zlatibor Cattledog

This is a rare and unrecognized working dog from Serbia, directly descended from the Herzeg Shepherd, although over the years it was also influenced by the Sarplaninac, Sylvan, Tornjak and German Shepherd Dog, as well as some other working breeds of the area. Commonly known as Era, the Zlatibor Cattledog is primarily used to drive and protect herds of sheep, goats and cows in its native region, but also makes a good property guardian and farm watchdog. There is very little information about this dog, because the Zlatiborac is fairly unknown even in present-day Serbia, but also thanks to the lack of interest in standardizing and promoting the breed by its fanciers. This is first and foremost a working dog, bred with very little regard to its appearance, but with a lot of attention to its temperament, personality and working abilities.

 

The Zlatiborski Era is a territorial and aloof breed, devoted to its master, but suspicious of strangers and unfriendly towards other dogs. This isn't a very active dog, it moves fairly slow and doesn't get excited for no reason. However, when provoked, the Zlatibor Shepherd can be quite vicious and driven, especially when defending its territory. Intelligent and calculated, it responds well to obedience training, but is neither very demonstrative nor a natural people pleaser. This is a serious and reserved working dog, valued for its independence and noble personality. The breed enthusiasts say that the Era is much closer in character to a Central Asian Ovcharka than to any Balkan dogs and generally dislike comparisons to the popular Sarplaninac. Rugged and healthy, this is a long-lived Molosser, reportedly reaching up to 16 years of age. The head is broad, with a powerful muzzle and jaws. This is a well-boned mastiff, having strong legs, a wide chest and a straight back. Some specimens have one of their ears cropped, but the majority of the dogs are unaltered.

 

There are two varieties within the breed, separated by their coat types. Both the shorthaired and the longhaired variants are densely undercoated and fully weatherproof, coming in a wide variety of colourings, both solid and particoloured. Fawn and yellow-coloured examples are very rare and most prized, but the majority of working Era dogs are either white with darker patches or brown, grey and black, usually with white markings.

The average height is around 25 inches.

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